A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration

By Paula Vogel
Original score by Daryl Waters
Directed by Paul Angelo
Music Directed by Andrew Bray

A collaboration with Staged!

November 22, 2016 – December 23, 2016

Alder Stage

Set during a time when the country is divided by conflicting ideologies and convictions following a contentious presidential election, Vogel’s sweeping, music-rich story plays out one frigid Christmas Eve on the banks of the Potomac River. Amid the hubbub of holiday preparations, an array of abolitionists and assassins, slaves and freemen, Union and Confederate soldiers, along with President Lincoln and Mary Todd, all pursue their paths to liberation. Propelled by traditional American songs, marches and spirituals — all revitalized for this production by luminary Portland musicians — A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS is a lively reminder for people of all beliefs about humanity’s potential for compassion, reconciliation and hope.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright
  • Uplifting family excursion
  • NW Premiere

RUN TIME: approximately 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.
Best-suited for school-age children and up. Children under 5 are not allowed.

By special permission, our production features the new and stylistically diverse arrangements of luminary Portland musicians Darrell Grant, Holcombe Waller, Mark and LaRhonda Steele, Okaidja Afroso, Edna Vázquez, James Beaton and Brian Adrian Koch of Blitzen Trapper. Click HERE to see a full song list of the newly arranged compositions of the period songs in the play.

These Makers from Art Design Portland (ADX) and Portland Apparel Lab (PAL) created pieces for A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS:
Dawn Moothart, Textile Artist, Portland Apparel Lab (fabric backdrop and sliding curtains)
Thomas Phillips, ADX Director of Fabrication (Piano/Harp)
Bill Wessinger, ADX Fabrication Technician (Piano/Harp)
Rio Wrenn, Textile Artist, RAW Textiles, (fabric backdrop and sliding curtains)

Check out the blog posts from our Fresh Eyes team Brennan Randel, Matthew Corwin, and Daniel Pollack-Pelzner who have been on the journey with us making this unique production HERE. Our Fresh Eyes program brings ‘civilians’ into the rehearsal process where they get to see what it takes to bring a play to life first-hand and then they make some fascinating observations about the process.

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Cast

Ayanna Berkshire +^

Mrs. Keckley & Ensemble

Jimmy Garcia +

Ward Hill Lamon, James Wormley & Ensemble

Amy Hakanson

Ensemble

Val Landrum +^

John Wilkes Booth, Chester Saunders & Ensemble

Susannah Mars +^

Mary Todd Lincoln & Ensemble

Crystal Ann Muñoz ±

Rose & Ensemble

Laila Murphy

John Hay, Anna Surratt & Ensemble

Ted Rooney +

Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman & Ensemble

Seth Rue +

Willy Mack, Louis Weichmann & Ensemble

John San Nicolas +^

Mary Surratt, Moses Levy & Ensemble

Vin Shambry +^

Decatur Bronson, John Surratt & Ensemble

Blake Stone

George Keckley & Ensemble

Kai Tomizawa

Raz & Ensemble

Andrea Whittle +

Hannah & Ensemble

Miya Zolkoske

Jessa & Ensemble

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

± Equity Membership Candidate

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist

Director

Paul Angelo *

Playwright

Paula Vogel

Music Director

Andrew Bray

Production

Scenic Designer: Tim Stapleton

Lighting Designer: Peter West

Costume Designer: Bobby Brewer-Wallin ^

Wig & Hair Designer: Lauren Noyes

Properties Master: Emily Wilken

Movement Choreographer: Kristen Mun

Voice & Text Director: Mary McDonald-Lewis ^

Dramaturg: Luan Schooler

Stage Manager: Jamie Lynne Simons +

Assistant Music Director: Steven Cantor

Assistant Scenic Designer: Samie Pfeifer

Assistant Stage Manager/Production Assistant: Karen Hill ±

Assistant Stage Manager: Michelle Jazuk +^

Production Assistant: Amanda Kishlock

Costumer: Clare Hungate Hawk

Wardrobe: Will Bailey

Board Op: Dave Petersen

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

* Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

± Equity Membership Candidate

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist

Press

Dmae Roberts, Stage and Studio, KBOO radio interviews cast members Ayanna Berkshire, Susannah Mars and John San Nicolas
LISTEN HERE

“…unlike any holiday or non-holiday show you'll see, and it is absolutely brilliant.” - Meg Currell, EDGE Media Network
FULL REVIEW

“…buoyed by background music…elements swell gradually into a song, the effect is pure magic.” - A.L. Adams, Oregon ArtsWatch
FULL REVIEW

“This production encompasses a microcosm of the world and, perhaps, humanity, as the stories may be specific but the message of tolerance and acceptance is universal.” - Dennis Sparks, Dennis Sparks Reviews
FULL REVIEW

“Of all the holiday offerings on local-stages, I would dub this one the "must-see" of the bunch.” - Kris Haines, The Crippled Critic
FULL REVIEW

"To create a holiday entertainment grounded in historical fact, Ms. Vogel weaves a complex tapestry of plotlines that include numerous celebrated figures along with several fictional or composite characters." - The New York Times
FULL REVIEW

"Move over Scrooge and make room for Abraham Lincoln." - Variety

"An ambitious, sweeping work." - Variety
FULL REVIEW

"This is classy theater, told with elegance; it embraces our differences, celebrates this country’s storied past, and weaves a holiday musical celebration that simply should not be missed." - Stark Insider
FULL REVIEW

Music in the Making - The sounds & sights of A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS
Tuesday, December 6
7:30pm

Be a part of an intimate evening of music and storytelling with some of Portland’s top musicians.  Join host Susannah Mars as she sits down with musicians Darrell Grant, Brian Adrian Koch, Holcombe Waller, Andrew Bray, Mark & LaRhonda Steele, Okaidja, James Beaton and others to learn about their experience arranging songs for our production of A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS and hear examples of their work. Learn about the local makers and our partnership with ADX (Art Design Portland) who built the production’s unique “piano-harp” musical instrument.


We believe that you will like this show if you enjoyed THE MIRACLE WORKER or our recent musicals CUBA LIBRE and NEXT TO NORMAL.

Did you know that Christmas wasn't an official holiday until several years after this piece concludes? Take a fascinating look into the history of Christmas in the 19th Century by visiting here and here.

Videos

Photos

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Special Events

November 18
8:30pm Late Night Piano Bar

November 22
Preview+ Day 1: $10 Tuesday

November 23
Preview+ Day 2: $25 tickets + slice of HotLips Pizza

November 25
10am Free screening of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

November 25
Preview+ Day 3: $25 tickets+beer+Happy Hour+Music from Son Jarocho!

November 26
Opening Night!
Music from Chata Addy. Catered by Rafati's Catering.

November 27
Post show discussion after 2pm matinee

November 27
6:30pm Ornament Making with SCRAP
6:45pm Maverick MainStage Productions musical preview
7:30pm Harper's Playground Community Partner Performance $10 ticket here

November 28
7pm SCIENCE on TAP: You & Your Racist Brain-The Neuroscience of Prejudice

December 1
7:30pm Frontier Series – FUTURE SHOW

December 2
7:30pm Frontier Series – FUTURE SHOW

December 3
7:30pm Frontier Series – FUTURE SHOW

December 4
1:45 Pre show discussion before 2pm matinee with Paul Angelo (Director) & Andrew Bray (Musical Director)
Post show discussion after 2pm matinee
6:45pm preshow music from Interfaith Gospel Choir

7:30pm Frontier Series – FUTURE SHOW

December 6
7:30pm Music in the Making - The sounds and sights of A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS
An intimate evening of music and storytelling with some of Portland’s top musicians. MORE

December 7
Post show discussion after 12pm matinee

December 10
10pm Late Night Piano Bar

December 11
1:45 Pre show discussion before 2pm matinee with Quaker scholars to discuss conscientious objection from Civil War era onward
Post show discussion after 2pm matinee
7:30pm open captioned performance

December 13
7:30pm BelloVoci

December 14
7:30pm BelloVoci

December 15
7:30pm BelloVoci

December 17
2pm ASL interpreted performance

December 17
Noon-7pm Holiday Gift Market!
Seasonal shopping in the Morrison Lobby with 20 unique ADX & Portland Made craft & art vendors.

December 17
6:45 preshow music from B-Side Book Club A Capella

December 18
Post show discussion w/ OPC after 2pm matinee

December 20
p:ear Partner night!
$40 tix/$20 goes to p:ear

December 20
6:45 preshow music with The Bylines

December 21                    
6:45 Preshow music from Dave Fleschner, jazz pianist

 

Resources

STUDY GUIDE! A great resource for all. Click here to download.

ORGANIZATIONS & RESOURCES

NAACP - Portland 

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) – Portland

Black Male Achievement program
Office of Equity and Human Rights
City of Portland

Urban League of Portland

Immigrant & Refugee Community (IRCO)

Resolutions Northwest

Black Lives Matter – Portland

Race Talks – Portland

Latino Network

Basic Rights Oregon

RECOMMENDED READING

Albina Community Plan:
The History of Portland's African American Community
1805-1993
READ

150 Years After Fort Sumpter: Why
We’re Still Fighting the Civil War
By David Von Drehle
Time Magazine, April 7, 2011
READ

Did the Civil War Ever End?
By Ted Widmer
New York Times, June 4, 2015
READ

Looking Back In Order to Move Forward
An Often Untold History Affecting Oregon’s Past,
Present and Future Timeline of Oregon and
U.S. Racial, Immigration and Education History
Compiled by Elaine Rector as part of Coaching for Educational Equity
READ

A Letter to My Son
Adapted from Between The World And Me by Ta-Neshisi Coates
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Atlantic Magazine, July 4, 2015
READ

What Does It Mean to Be White?
Developing White Racial Literacy
By Robin DiAngelo PhD
Seattle Times, August 11, 2014
READ

What Whiteness Means in the Trump Era
By Nell Irvin Painter
New York Times, November 12, 2016
READ

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